Tech News Today 263

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Tech News Today
Episode 263

Tech News Today 263: Leave The Wii Be

Citibank hack a URL hack, Google's speech recognition and instant pages, Bloomberg accuses Comcast of violating FCC agreement, and more.


Top Stories

  • Google Revamps Mobile Web Search, Unveils Faster Image And Web Searches
  • Google's Webcast
  • How Larry Page Thinks About Search
    • SUMMARY - Google fellow Amit Singhal hosted the talk, noted that mobile search peaks on weekends and evenings, desktop search peaks during work hours
    • Mobile search updates map as you change search for location-based services, shortcuts to commonly searched local categories
    • Voice coming to desktop search this week
    • Search by images: drag an image into the search bar, get similar images
    • Instant pages preftechs the first search result - only in Chrome Beta for now
    • Voice Search: Android keyboard gets a mic key, so you can use speech as an input on ANY app on Android.
    • Voice search comes to desktop (got a few people clapping and hollering at the event). Figured out the difference between Worcester and Wooster. Impressive. In Chrome only. Rolling out this week.
    • "Search by Image" on desktop. [this is Google Goggles on the desktop, right?]. Works for memes like "Y U NO" guy. Rolling out globally over the next few days. 4 ways to access: URL, upload, drag and drop to search box or use Chrome or FF extension. Rolling out this week.
    • Google Instant Search comes to Image search
    • "Breaking down all barriers to knowledge"
    • Mobile search more like Android and iOS apps (launched today, I think)
    • AJAX used to update a map as you change search results for location-based searches
    • Mobile instant previews (shows search results like fast flip)
    • Launching soon: for tablet searching: results are bigger, new image search UI for tablets with infinite scroll
    • Launching Today: Google Goggles with translate in Russian
    • "Google Instant Pages" announced today: when you click search results, the page shows up instantly. WaPo: 3.2s vs. 0.0s. Prerendering by Chrome.
    • How GIP works: Google Instant + Relevance + Pre-rendering.
    • Google argues that Google Instant saves 2-5s, Google IP saves anotehr 2-5s.
    • Avail today in Chrome Dev version, coming to everyone in Chrome beta next week [Check that timing]. The code is available for devs to make FF (or other browser) extensions
    • GIP is coming to mobile too (coming to all Android incl. GoogTV), GIP doesn't apply to ads
    • Pre-rendering diff from pre-fetching: pre-rendering gets all the data (pre-fetching, just the html)
  • AMD's Fusion A-Series chips official: 10.5-hour battery life, DirectX 11 graphics, and USB 3.0 support (video)
    • Llano officially dubbed the Fusion A-Series, 32-nanometer APUs for desktop and laptop
    • No more CPUs, all APUs. Though Radeon cards can be added to boost graphics performance up to 75%
    • A-series equipped PCs are already shipping, expect 150 models this year
    • Direct competitors with Sandy Bridge
    • dual-core A4 chips will compete with Core i3 CPUs, with the quad-core A6 going after i3 and i5, and the quad-core A8 taking on i5 and i7. Systems with the A4, A6, and A8 chips are expected to start around $499, $599, and $699, respectively. The A-Series includes seven laptop APUs across three families, and offers up to 4MB of cache, and clock speeds as high as 1.9GHz in the dual-core A4 chips -- up to 2.5 GHz if you take into account AMD's Turbo Core technology. These chips are also stereoscopic 3D-capable, and support USB 3.0, DirectX 11, OpenCL / OpenGL, AMD Wireless Display, and both 1600MHz DDR3 and low-power 1333MHz DDR3L memory.
  • Nokia and Apple settle patent disputes; Apple to pay one-time fee and ongoing license fees
  • Nokia likely netted $600 million plus in Apple patent settlement
  • Nokia and Apple settle patent dispute
    • Apple agreeing to pay a one-time settlement fee and ongoing license royalties to Nokia
    • The conflict, as Nilay Patel points out, has always been about what rate Apple would pay
    • We don't know if Apple caved, or if Nokia lowered rate
    • Partnership with Microsoft may have simplified negotiations because of existing Apple-MS cross-licensing
    • Apple’s quoted in the New York Times as saying that the deal includes a cross-license for some of its patents, but “not the majority of the innovation that makes the iPhone unique.”
    • Deutsche Bank analyst Kai Korschelt said in a research note that Nokia is likelty to get a 420 million euro payment in the second quarter. That sum, which translates to $608 million
    • Nokia revealed that Apple is paying ongoing royalty payments in addition to an up-front settlement amount.

Discussion Stories

  • Revealed: How Citigroup hackers broke in 'through the front door' using bank's website
  • Thieves Found Citigroup Site an Easy Entry
  • Citigroup hack exploited easy-to-detect web flaw
    • One expert, who is part of the investigation and wants to remain anonymous because the inquiry is at an early stage, told The New York Times he wondered how the hackers could have known to breach security by focusing on the vulnerability in the browser.
    • “That's an easy attack to detect, and they just didn't do it,” Jeff Williams, the CEO of Aspect Security and the OWASP chair, told The Reg. “It's a really common flaw.”
    • The Citi hackers also took advantage of a flaw in the Java programming framework to access information stored in an Oracle database maintained by the bank, The Financial Times reported Tuesday. An unnamed investigator told the FT the situation was “alarming,” given the wide use of Java and the database software, which are both offered by Oracle.
    • They simply logged on to the part of the group's site reserved for credit card customers - and substituted their account numbers which appeared in the browser's address bar with other numbers.
  • Everyone hates Duke Nukem Forever
  • Review: Duke Nukem Forever Shoulda Stayed Vaporware
    • Metacritic scores hover around 50 for the three platforms.
    • "Duke is thoughtless, backwards, and belligerent. " - Ben Kuchera, AT
    • "It's like watching your uncle tell racist jokes at Thanksgiving and praying someone has the guts to tell him to cut it out, but this time it's interactive—and you're the uncle." - Kuchera
    • "Nothing seems to work very well in Duke Nukem Forever." - Chris Kohler, Wired
  • Bloomberg to FCC: Comcast is Violating NBCU Merger Conditions
    • Bloomberg has filed a formal complaint with the Federal Communications Commission, accusing Comcast of violating conditions it agreed to as part of its merger with NBC Universal, which created a $30 billion entertainment colossus.
    • “if Comcast now or in the future carries news and/or business news channels in a neighborhood, defined as placing a significant number or percentage of news and/or business news channels substantially adjacent to one another in a system’s lineup, Comcast must carry all independent news and business news channels in that neighborhood.”
    • does not, and since the transaction has not, ‘neighborhooded’ channels on our systems.” The cable giant argues that the FCC’s “neighborhooding” requirement would only apply if Comcast-NBCU actually did neighborhood news or business news channels in the future, but since it does not at present, the FCC’s order approving the merger “does not support Bloomberg TV’s request.”
    • In Washington D.C., for example, Comcast carries CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and CNBC on channels 35-39. Bloomberg TV, by contrast, is way down the dial ot channel 103, next to C-Span 2 and C-Span 3.

News Fuse




"I've redownloaded some songs from the iCloud service and some are still 128 kbps protected AAC files. These are ones that have yet to be made available to upgrade to iTunes+. Apple said this is due to some songs/albums not being on the iTunes store anymore due to licensing agreements with the label. So I'm still stuck with over 150 DRM songs at 128 kbps.

Jim Nichols Grand Rapids, Michigan"

"Hey TNT crew,

I just wanted to let you know that reddit has two different ways of access a sub-reddit, ie. but the way that I find easier to say is I hope this will be helpful.

Jonathan Derry"

"Hey Tom - I think you confused two issues in DOCSIS

1) The theoretical speed of a cable connection. A single cable has tremendous carrying capacity over relatively short distances (all those HD channels plus space for VOD take up the vast majority with some areas left for allocation as broadband)

2) The oversubscribed connections offered by Comcast that shares that connection in the real world. Currently, DOCSIS 3 has downstream throughput of 160Mbps, to a node, but the spec allows increases to that by bonding (blah blah blah). But that connection is split among hundreds of people who are mostly subscribing at a 12 or 16 Mbps level. A few may be doing the 101 (ahem, 100). But they obviously don't have that reserved solely for their use.

The article about the 4.5 Gbps is relative to part 1 above. If this does hit the market eventually, it will mean not mean anyone can get 4.5 Gbps to their home over fiber. The article was obviously titled as linkbait. A more honest title would have been: cable gets faster in lab somewhere.

The relevant question for all of us is whether the bandwidth demand of all our neighbors and us is growing faster than breakthroughs that increase the capacity of cable.

Christopher Mitchell"



  • Freshbooks -3
  • ad times: 34:33 - 43:00 and 14:09 - 16:01

Production Information

  • Edited by: Jeff
  • Notes:
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